It’s been a little while since we last updated our blog! This is our latest newsletter that went out via Mail Chimp about a week ago, but we thought we’d use it to update on here as well for those of you who do not get receive our newsletter! It’s definitely got some exiting news in it!
A Little Back Story
We hope this update finds you well. We first want to apologize for the lull in communication. In late fall we had begun communication with the field leadership in Tanzania with hopes to return. Because we did not know what the outcome would be (since there is now a new strategy and we weren’t sure if and how we could fit into it) and how long the process was going to take, it was hard to know how to communicate to all of you where things were at, so to be honest it was easier to just hold off until we had some more concrete answers.
In late February we had a call with the field leadership in Tanzania and were able to gain some clarity on the new strategy and field realities. After taking time to pray and process, God made it so clear that based on the gifts He has given us we are no longer the best fit for Tanzania’s new strategy (which is solely training and mobilizing the local church, still with the long-term goal of church planting). We totally believe in what is happening there and are excited about it, but feel teaching and training is not a natural skill set of ours. We have learned that our giftings fall more in support roles such as hospitality, encouragement and acts of service. But we also have a huge passion for relationships and discipleship in the local church and community.
After that meeting the Lord gave us peace to accept that our time in Tanzania was truly over while also giving us the freedom to begin looking for needs that we could meet based on the gifts He has specifically given to us. SO much has taken place over the last 3 weeks (we have been in close contact with our monthly financial ministry partners regarding some big ministry decisions that we have been praying through and making) but unfortunately that meant slowing down on our normal updates.
Enough of the backstory…
On to the Exciting News
We are excited to announce that we have been invited to be the Center Manager on a small mission center in Papua New Guinea. Yes, you heard that right, Papua New Guinea!!! We did not see this coming, but it is clear God was preparing us for this for a long time. Here is a little about our new ministry.
The center has a house for the center manager (us) as well as 3 small guest apartments. There is also an area for missionaries and local believers to come and work on things like Bible translation, curriculum development and have some gatherings. Here are what some of our day-to-day responsibilities will include:
- Caring for the center grounds
- Preparing the guesthouses for missionaries to come and stay
- Bookkeeping for the center
- Helping to buy, pack, and send out supplies to missionaries in remote locations (this could be by car, by boat or by helicopter)
- Be encouragement and a listening ear to the missionaries who are visiting/taking a break
- Be a part of a local Body of Believers as well as the community around us
Honestly, it feels as though this job description was written with our hearts in mind; however, we know that we cannot do it without our Father’s GRACE and HELP. We have such a heart to serve and love on missionaries, but also to be a part of the local church and community (something Tanzania prepared us well for). We feel so blessed that we will get to be a part of these three things that we are so passionate about!
Our goal is to arrive in PNG in January 2023. This will give us time to wrap up our ministry here at the training center, do some traveling and partnership development (we are currently 76% funded for this ministry in PNG and hope to be fully funded before we leave), get into a good groove with homeschooling (as this will be our only schooling option out there on the island), take care of some medical things, as well as spend time with our family, sending church and friends. It’s going to be an exciting 9 months!
(apologies to our monthly ministry partners who already received this information via a personal email or newsletter)
PNG Night with a Friend
The other week we had a sweet friend over who is a student here, but grew up in Papua New Guinea. We had fun making a PNG meal together and learned all sorts of things about our new home. The kids even used sharp knives (except Malachi) to help peel the sweet potatoes and plantains and did surprisingly well. But the can of coconut milk got sweet Miriam and she ended up with a nasty cut. She’s a tough girl though and thankfully it’s healing well!
Thanks for Praying!
Thanks for keeping us in your prayers during this season of wrapping up one ministry while preparing for the next. Our minds are already spinning with all that needs to be done! Please pray that we would keep our eyes on JESUS!
Marilyn Bumgarner says
So happy to hear how the Lord is directing in your life. It’s amazing how He prepares us and then stretches us in His work. I will continue to pray for you and your needs. Please continue to send me specific prayer requests by email.